Friday, January 16, 2015

**Experts & Q&A** A Hot Winter by C.J. Lake



 


Excerpt #1:


 

“All right, honest conversation,” she said after a moment that was quiet, but rife with tension.  “Yes.  I was flirting with you in the store--but only because I never thought I’d see you again.”

“You never wanted to see me again?”  He sounded somewhere between incredulous and insulted.  “Damn, Emma!”

“No, no,” she clarified, rapidly shaking her head, “this is coming out wrong.  I just meant I thought you were a random handsome guy with a hot body, end of story.” 

Every male impulse in him intensified when he heard those words.  Handsome?  Hot body?  This was definitely going to happen. 

“I never knew you’d end up working at my house…and driving me crazy everyday,” Emma mumbled partly under her breath.  Still, Matt heard every word.  And he was itching to grab her.    

He stepped closer--close enough for their bodies to touch.  Finally.  His cock stiffened as his chest grazed Emma’s back.  “Driving you crazy?” Matt repeated, bringing his mouth closer to her ear.  “Here I thought I was being nice all this time.”

She let out an unsteady breath.  “You know what I mean.”

“No,” he said, his voice low and urgent as his hands slid onto her waist.  “Explain it to me.”

Already he felt the sexual tension burning between them; what would it be like once he kissed her?  She had to feel it, too.  Though she still stubbornly had her back to him, she hadn’t moved away, not even a centimeter. 

When she spoke, her voice was a soft, breathy sort of whisper that sounded as aroused as he felt.  “I admit I find you…attractive…”

“Mmm-hmm,” he murmured, tugging her lower body against his as he leaned down to nuzzle her neck. 

Softly, Emma gasped, before continuing, “But…since I’m moving in just a couple weeks, there’s no point to…anything…”  She let out a tiny little moan when Matt grazed her neck with his teeth.  “I-I hope you understand.”

“I understand perfectly,” he said, his mouth against her ear.  “You’re attracted to me,” he recapped, skipping the rest of what she’d said. 

“But--”

“And I’m deeply attracted to you,” he murmured, as he tightened his grip on her waist and nudged her bottom with his cock.  When Emma moaned again, Matt seized the opportunity.  He slid a hand into her hair and angled her head toward him, urging her to turn around. 

“Matt, please…” she implored, half-turned, her greenish eyes looking almost troubled as she gazed up into his face. 

Pausing, he tried to regain his sanity.  Obviously he’d never want to push Emma into something she didn’t want.  “Are you saying you don’t want me to kiss you right now?” he asked.

“What I want doesn’t matter.”

“Like hell it doesn’t,” he nearly snapped.  Why was she making this so complicated?

“It’s part of being an adult,” Emma said, casting her eyes down, her voice faint.  “We can’t always have what we want.  That’s life.”

“Believe me, I know that,” Matt told her.  “If I could have what I want, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation--I would’ve been kissing you all this time.  I would be doing the crossword puzzle with you every morning.  I would be fixing that screwed-up weather-stripping, just so you’d be warm.  I would grab you and pull you onto my lap…”  With her eyes widening, Emma’s mouth fell open, as Matt dipped his head lower and finished, “If I could have what I want, then I’d already be running my hands inside your panties right now.”

Matt…” she whispered helplessly, wetting her lips as her face rose to meet his. 

 

 

Excerpt #2:

 

Wordlessly, she handed him the check.  Folding it, he shook his head.  “Man, I’m so glad nothing happened between us last night,” he muttered as he stuck the check in his pocket.

Emma’s face crumpled.  “What?” she said, feeling insulted and hurt (even though she’d basically given him the longer version of the same sentiment).

With a short, humorless laugh, Matt said, “I don’t need this drama.”

“No one has ever accused me of being overdramatic.”

“If you give me this big of a hassle over a bill, God knows what you’d do to me in bed,” he said. 

“I wouldn’t do anything to you!  Wait--I didn’t mean it the way it sounded…” she fumbled.

“You’d probably tell me I’m doing it wrong.”

Rage boiled inside her, as she struggled for a comeback.  “I’d only tell you that if you were.”

With a cocky laugh, Matt leaned his face toward hers and said, “I do it just fine.”

She pasted on a patronizing smile.  “Well good for you.”

“It could have been good for you, too,” he remarked plainly.  “But that ship has sailed.”

At first, Emma’s mouth dropped open.  Then she let out a shocked sort of laugh.  “Oh my God!  I hope you’re not seriously trying to use reverse psychology to get me to sleep with you?”

Impatiently, Matt said, “Emma, aren’t you listening?  I don’t even want to sleep with you anymore.”

With her fists balling at her sides, she said, “Good.  Actually, that works out well, because I really don’t want to sleep with you.”

“Uh-huh, sure, okay,” Matt said briskly.  “Well, I’m glad we’ve cleared that up now.”  He turned toward the door, adding, “Now it won’t have to be unclear when I cross paths with you again someday.”

“Don’t worry, you probably won’t cross paths with me anyway,” she called after him.  “I’m leaving remember?”

At that, Matt paused, looked back at her.  His expression seemed more solemn.  “Right, I forgot, well…good bye, Emma.”

“Wait.”

With his hand on the doorknob, Matt turned. 

Impulsively, Emma reached for the stack of envelopes that was sitting on hutch by the stairs.  She flipped through it and pulled out the one with Matt’s name on it.  “Here,” she said, walking toward him.  At first he just eyed the envelope, confused.  “It’s a Christmas card,” Emma explained offhandedly.  “You might as well take it now.” 

Wordlessly, Matt shifted his gaze from the envelope to Emma’s face.  His dark eyes burned into her.  She swallowed feebly, still holding the card out for him.  “To hell with this,” he uttered gruffly, and slid a hand around her neck, pulled her to him and kissed her.


Q&A with C.J. Lake

 

What was the inspiration for A Hot Winter?

I didn’t originally intend to write this story, but Matt and Emma seemed to have instant chemistry in my first book, Constructing Us, so I was compelled to explore them as a couple.  They ended up being perfect for each other (though it’s a ride to get there!).

 

What makes Matt & Emma such a great couple?

There’s a current of attraction between them when they first meet, but neither knows who the other is.  Once they discover the connection (to Tragan and Andy), they try to dial it back--especially once Matt begins work on Emma’s house.  But it’s virtually impossible not to be aware of each other or to keep their distance.  That initial attraction is always there--and building every time they’re together, despite Emma’s determination to keep things platonic.  Something that works in their favor is that while Matt is four years younger than Emma, he is strong and responsible, with a maturity and a protective nature--exactly what she needs!

 

If you had to choose, what is your favorite scene?

Well, here’s a very short excerpt from it:

“Jesus, Emma,” Matt rasped, pulling back just enough to look into her eyes.  “Why do you torture me?”

Gazing into those intense, dark eyes, Emma became overwhelmed by a longing that was almost painful.  She reached up and brushed her lips across his.  “I didn’t mean to,” she said softly, and it was the truth.  “Don’t go,” she whispered, digging her fingers into his hair and keeping him close.  Lightly she bit his lower lip.  “Don’t go…”

>>I love this whole scene; it’s erotic and emotional and represents a major turning point for Matt and Emma.  Also, it’s literally just the beginning of their first intense night together…

 

Can you pick a favorite quote?

Hmm…maybe this:

“Being with Matt did something to her.  It brought back a younger version of herself, a younger time in her life.”

>>This is a theme that’s played implicitly throughout the story and a concept that Emma wrestles with and embraces at the same time.  She’s only twenty-seven, but has responsibilities that make her feel older and more settled than that.  Matt taps into her youthful, fun-loving spirit and almost makes Emma forget the reasons why they shouldn’t be together…

 

Did you have a music play list for this book?

Yes!  My “soundtrack” for A Hot Winter includes songs that fit Matt & Emma so well.  Like “Teenage Dream” (Katy Perry), “Safe and Sound” (Capital Cities), “Am I wrong” (Nico & Vinz), “Everybody Talks” (Neon Trees), “Green Eyes” (Coldplay), and “Everything Has Changed” (Taylor Swift). 

 

What else should readers know?

  • A Hot Winter is set in one of my favorite places: snowy Boston!
  • Tragan & Andy, along with other familiar faces from Constructing Us, are back.
  • Though my books have overlapping characters, they are all standalone novels--no cliffhangers!

 

What’s next?

In 2015, look for Sky High (Book 3 in The Attraction series).  Sky High is a fast-paced, romantic and sexy New Adult romance, featuring Jamie from Books 1 & 2.  Stay tuned for more updates, both on Amazon and Twitter (@brightbluesurf) -- plus, readers can email me at: writercjlake@gmail.com.
 

1 comment:

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